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Home > Census & Community: Developing a Community Profile


Census & Community: Developing a Community Profile

Sponsored by the Southern Adirondack Library System

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 from 9:30 to 3:30 at the Crandall Public Library.


 Ever wonder if your library is meeting the information needs of your entire community?  Do you wonder if there is someone or some group who just hasn’t been reached yet? Well, you can find out more about your community’s make-up and needs by attending the Census and Community: Developing a Community Profile workshop.  This will be a hands on workshop during which you will learn how to use the US Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder and other online databases to create a community profile.


Share your resources, questions & ideas here


US Census Data



US Census data is usually the best first stop for finding detailed demographic & economic data about your community.  But if you live in an area with a small population,  you may find that very little information is available. The Census Bureau takes our privacy seriously! If a data table could reveal information about an individual, that data will be 'suppressed'. Keep this in mind as we work with the Census tables and be aware that you may only be able to get detailed data for your county as a whole.


What information does the Census cover? The best way to know what kind of information you might find in the Census, is to look at the data collection forms. If it's not there, they don't count it.


2010 Census and the American Community Survey - The 2010 Census is part of the Decennial Census program. The US Constitution mandates that the US population be counted every 10 years.  To keep more up to date with changes in our population, the American Community Survey program was implemented and collects data from a sample of households throughout the country on a continuing basis.  As of Dec 2008, data is available for communities with a population of 20,000 and is based on 3 years of data from 2005 - 2007. In December 2010 data will be available for all communities regardless of size and will be based on data collected over 5 years.


Census Bureau Data




NYS Resources


  • NYS Statistical Yearbook - The go-to source for NYS data. This annual publication compiled by the Rockefeller Institute is a treasure trove of data tables on topics you'll never find in the US Census! County data on apple farms, voter registration, snowmobile permits, children in foster care, crime rates and much more.



PO Box 765 Lake George NY 12845
Contact: Mr. Walter Young
Phone: (518) 668-5773 Fax: (518) 668-5774

194 US Oval
Plattsburgh, NY 12903

Phone: (518) 564-2214


1 Park Place Albany, NY 12205-2626
Contact: Ms. Joanna King
Phone: (518) 453-0850 Fax: (518) 453-0856




School District Data

School district data is collected by a number of agencies at the local, state and federal levels. Demographic data about the school age population can help give you a picture of the larger population of your region, particularly if you live in a community that has little Census Data available. 


School District Profile -_ 2006-2008 data from ACS (for dan! and all of us) american factfinder --> data sets --> 2006-2008 --> data profiles --> school district


NYS Data Center School District Data - Data files compiled from detailed 2000 Census Data. "The Census Bureau has released two different data files containing data for each block in the state.  Using these files, we have produced summaries for the school districts in New York State as they existed on July 1, 1999."


NYS School District Report Cards -  Great source of basic demographic data for school-age population. Available for all districts in NY. Data includes: enrollment count by school year, Racial/Ethnic Origins, School Lunch eligibility and limited English proficiency. Data reports for both the full district and individual school buildings. 

    • School Age Demographic Data: Select Year --> Find your school district --> then select the Accountability & Overview report--> demographic profile is in the first few pages.
    • Family Income: Some family income level information can be inferred from the free lunch & discounted lunch program data.


(Table source:



NCES 1990 Data -- Census 1990 School District Tabulation Data

NCES 2000 Data --


NCES CCD Build a Table - National Center for Education Statistics -Common Core of Data - Bulld a Table: Custom table of school district data built to your specifications. This one might seem a bit confusing at first, but persevere, it's really quite logical! :-) 


Sample tables for:


To build your own tables:

    • Select Row Variable -- select the geographic area:  District will be most useful for this session
    • Select Years -- Can select multiple years if needed
    • Select Columns
      • Basic Information -- select District & County name
      • Then examine other categories of data in the drop down menu under "select Columns". Each option in that menu will display a bunch of data columns below. Check the boxes for the data you want to retrieve.  You can select up to 50 columns of data.
    • Select Filters
      • State Abbreviation: Select the states you want data for. At this point you'll get data for ALL districts in your state. 
      • Other Filters: Select County Name to limit to just your county.  Enter county name in the "column contains" option box, 




School District Demographics System - mapping data for NY - An interesting way to visualize data for school districts




More Resources



  • ZipSkinny -- Census data by zip code and data from school district (NCES).
  • City Data - Non-governmental site with data compiled from many different sources. Has data for cities, towns & school districts. A good place to start to look for a profile of your community.
  • US - Data.Gov - Access to many different sets of data from US Executive Branch agencies.
  • US - FedStats - Another mega-index to US government agency produced statistical data. 
  • US - - One stop shopping for government information of all sorts







Supported in part by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. 


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